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Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent in February, Iowa Workforce Development said Friday.
While the number of unemployed Iowans increased from 58,000 in January to 58,300 to February, the number of employed Iowans increased by 3,200. Iowa's labor force participation rate rose slightly from 65.5 percent to 65.6 percent.
'February was an unusually cold month for an extended period of time and thankfully, our unemployment rate remained very close to the January rate,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in a news release.
'We anticipate with the improvement in the weather and wider distribution of the vaccine, we will see a larger decrease in the unemployment rates this spring.”
Townsend said there are more than 65,000 jobs available on the IowaWorks website, which is more than the 58,300 people who filed for unemployment in February.
The unemployment and labor force numbers have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. At this time last year, the unemployment rate was 2.7 percent, and the labor force participation rate was 69.7 percent.
Leisure and hospitality employed 25,300 fewer people in February 2021 than February 2020, but the sector added 1,200 jobs compared to January of this year.
Other segments to have substantially lower employment in February 2021 compared to a year ago include education and health services with 16,800 fewer jobs, government with 14,300 fewer jobs and construction with 5,800 fewer jobs.
The only sector to have more jobs in February 2021 than that month in 2020 is mining, which makes up less than 1 percent of the state's workforce.
These numbers are preliminary and are yet to be adjusted by the U.S. Department of Labor. They also only include people actively seeking work and therefore do not necessarily show a full representation of how many people are out of work.
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